Birighitti focused ahead of crucial encounter

Mark Birighitti says Friday's showdown with Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium is a massive game in the context of the Jets’ season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has labelled Friday night-s showdown with Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium as a massive clash in the context of the Jets- season

The Jets currently sit in fifth place on the A-League ladder, three points clear of Melbourne Heart and Sydney FC.

However, with both the Sky Blues and Heart having a game in hand on the Jets, Friday-s clash with Perth is looming as a crucial fixture for Newcastle hopes to cement their spot in the top six.

“It-s a massive game against Perth this week,” Birighitti said.

“We want to turnaround our efforts from last week because it was pretty disappointing copping five goals and we were disappointed with the way we played.

“It-s important for all our Members and supporters to get right behind us, because we have a big couple of games coming up and we need everyone supporting us to help get us over the line.

“If you look at the table we-re still in the top six, if with the other teams having a game in hand.

“We just can-t drop our guard. We-ve got two home games that are massive for us and if we can win them, we-re close to making the finals.

“We-re not thinking too far ahead, we just have to take each game as it comes and we-ve got a big game this week so we-re all focused for that one.”

Despite only having a short space of time to get over Sunday-s 5-0 loss to Melbourne Victory, Birighitti said confidence within the Jets- playing group was still high.

“Prior to the game on the weekend, we only had one loss in nine games, so that-s pretty good,” Birighitti said.

“It-s an important time of the season, coming to the end of the season but we need to get as many wins as possible coming into the finals.

“Morale is fine. Obviously it is disappointing after a game like that conceding that many goals and not playing so well, but it-s good that we have a short turnaround and the boys are really excited to turn it around this week.

“If you have six, seven or eight days off it plays on the back of your mind, so it-s good that we have a short turnaround.”

Birighitti said the Jets would have to be wary of a Perth side that is likely to be boosted return of their skipper Jacob Burns.

“Everyone knows what a good side Perth are, under their new management and with a new coach, they-ve strung a few wins together so they will be up for it,” he said.

“We have to be on our toes and make sure we-re ready for the battle.

“It-s going to be a tough game because Perth have got a few of their star players coming back, but I-m confident we can get the job done.”

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory Friday, March 8 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 7.30pm Tickets from PROticket.

PCYC Newcastle is being supported at this week's Jets game against the Perth Glory.

The charity box and 20 reserved seating tickets have been donated to PCYC as a reward for participants in their young offender program.

The program aims to give these youngsters a second chance, and, Senior Constable Brendan Haile will be speaking pre-game about the PCYC and its many, vital community programs.